Before & After

There is a special sort of ritual that I engage in when I acquire something previously owned and decide to make it my own.  For example, whenever I go antique hunting and find something like a wonderful old teapot or a piece of vintage silver, I find genuine pleasure in carefully washing and polishing the item.  That is how I learn the curves and subtle nuances of the piece and, at the same time, remove any negative energy that might be attached to it from a previous owner. Once finished, I like to set aside some quiet time for using the item — savoring it, actually — for the very first time.

Taking ownership of my studio has been a lot like that.  I no sooner signed the one-year lease than I was up to my elbows in cleaning liquids and paint. It was a labor of love: scrubbing the walls and floors; choosing paint colors that would create just the right ambiance; finding the perfect window covering (one that would allow light in, yet provide some measure of privacy); deciding on the proper storage cabinets, and finding the right chair in which to sit back and survey my artwork with a critical eye… or take a nap! Lastly, I incorporated some of my favorite items from our attic, like an antique Chinese painter’s table and a funky turquoise Buddha (now that’s good energy!), my trusty and dusty easel, and some sturdy old bookcases for holding a plethora of art supplies and reference books.

Below are just a few before and after photos.  Now that all the elements are finally in place… It’s time to get busy!

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Yes, a magenta door… and a lilac floor.

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My antique Chinese painter’s table. On the tall built-in table, I added a glass panel top for inspiration photos to be slipped underneath… Easier clean-up from my painting, collage, and assemblage messes, too.

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The half white/half black walls were all painted white for added brightness, and a set of wall cabinets hide at least some of the clutter.


About Elizabeth D. Yingling

Elizabeth is an artist and art therapist busily creating an art-filled life for herself and others at her studio in the picturesque village of Georgetown in Washington, DC. This blog describes her journey after a long-delayed dream finally comes true... that of having her own art studio in which to explore, create and make meaning of her life experiences. Elizabeth received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the City University of New York/Booklyn College. She obtained her Master’s degree in Art Therapy from George Washington University. Her training and post-graduate work in the field of art therapy has profoundly impacted the way she now views and creates art, particularly in her use of metaphor. She currently works with a variety of different media, including but not limited to painting, collage and assemblage. Careful consideration is given to which materials might best facilitate the creative expression of her feelings about a particular theme, and at times, more than one medium may be employed in this exploration. Elizabeth’s art is about making meaning of her experiences and her growth as a woman – one who finds herself and other women struggling to evolve, both individually and collectively, in a society that is filled with paradoxes. In this endeavor to better to understand her own life’s journey, she finds inspiration in learning about the journeys of other women from disparate backgrounds. Their experiences, thoughts and feelings are both unique and universal. Listening to their stories and processing the recurring themes that arise from what she and these other women have learned has become an ongoing exploration that enriches her creative expression and makes up the body of her current work.
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